5 Reasons To Ditch Sugar Today
Sugar is an ingredient that can be found everywhere you look. It is one of the main ingredients in sweet treats such as cakes, cookies and candy. It is also used to sweeten many common beverages including fruit juice, iced tea, premium coffees and soda. It can even be found in foods that you might not expect. For example, the following supposedly healthy foods contain surprisingly large amounts of sugar:
- Bread: Bread is a dietary staple that many people eat on a daily basis. It doesn’t have a particularly sweet taste but is actually a hidden source of sugar with an average loaf containing approximately 36g of sugar.
- Cereal Bars: Cereal bars are seen by many people as a quick, convenient source of healthy carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. However, these popular snacks are really a concentrated source of sugar with some packing up to 15g of sugar per cereal bar.
- Low Fat Salad Dressing: Low fat salad dressings are often marketed as a healthy way to flavor your salad without adding excess fat to your diet. However, what the manufacturers don’t tell you is that extra sugar and salt are often added to these salad dressings to compensate for their low fat content and that some low fat salad dressings contain as much as 5g of sugar per tablespoon.
- Tomato Based Pasta Sauces: Tomato based pasta sauces are something that many of us use multiple times per week to prepare tasty pasta based dinner recipes. However, the rich tomato flavor of these tasty sauces masks the fact that they can contain up to 30g of sugar per cup.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is another popular food that many people believe to be healthy but can contain significant amounts of sugar. The amount of sugar per yogurt does vary widely between brands but the worst offenders pack around 30g of sugar per serving.
However, despite its prevalence in our diets, sugar is something that you really need to limit your consumption of or even stop eating completely. Not only is it damaging to your health but it can also affect your energy levels, your happiness, your weight and even how old you look. In this report we’ll be looking at the dangers of sugar in greater detail and discussing why you should consider cutting sugar out of your diet by listing 5 Reasons To Ditch Sugar Today and then providing you with some simple but effective tips you can use to reduce your sugar consumption.
Reason 1 – You’ll Feel Happier
How Sugar Affects Your Happiness
It may be surprising to hear that cutting back on sugar can make you happier. After all, we often associate the experience of indulging in our favorite sugary treatswith positive and joyful emotions. However, what you may not notice is that a few hours after filling up on sugar, your mood starts to dip and you start to crave sugar again. The only way to satisfy this craving and lift your mood back up is to eat more sugary foods which then starts the cycle again.
The long term result is that you experience a temporary boost in happiness after eating sugar followed by an extended dip in emotions. This ultimately leads to you depending on sugar for happiness and becoming addicted to this sweet substance. In fact, studies have shown that sugar consumption could even lead to depression.
What To Eat Instead
If you have relied on sugar to lift your mood in the past, you’re probably wondering what you should eat instead. The good news is that there are plenty of foods you can eat to enhance your mood in a stable and permanent way. The list below outlines five of the best foods you can eat for happiness:
- Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are packed with selenium – a powerful nutrient when it comes to your mood. Filling up on selenium rich foods has been associated with increased happiness and a reduced risk of depression.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal doesn’t just warm you up physically, it can also give you a mental feeling of warmth and happiness. The reason for this is that it contains high levels of fiber which helps to regulate your blood glucose levels and keep you feeling consistently happy.
- Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc – an important nutrient for brain health that has been linked with improvements in mood. They also contain high levels of tyrosine – a hormone which helps to keep depression at bay and enhances your mood.
- Salmon: Salmon is a top source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Various studies have highlighted that eating a diet rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids can stabilize your mood and fight depression.
- Turkey:Turkey is an excellent source of tryptophan – an amino acid which has been shown to raise the levels of serotonin in your body. Studies have linked high levels of serotonin with feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It’s also rich in mood boosting tyrosine.
Reason 2 – You’ll Have More Energy
How Sugar Affects Your Energy Levels
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source, so to hear that cutting back on sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrate) will increase your energy levels may sound confusing. While it is true that eating sugar will boost your energy levels, this effect is only temporary and will inevitably lead to a crash in energy levels a few hours later.
Over time these sugar crashes become more and more severe and your overall energy levels decline. You also become dependent on sugar for energy and without it you feel tired and depleted. Therefore, if you want stable, long term improvements in your energy levels, sugar is not the answer.
What To Eat Instead
There are lots of low sugar or sugar free foods out there which can improve your energy levels.The section below highlights five of the top foods and drinks you can consume for energy:
- Coffee: Coffee contains no sugar and no calories but is packed with energy boosting nutrients. It contains high levels of caffeine – a compound that stimulates your nervous system and gives you an immediate energy boost. It’s a brilliant source of caffeic acid – a nutrient that stabilizes your blood glucose levels and helps you avoid any crashes in energy.
- Flax Seeds: Flax seeds have countless health benefits and are great for energy production. They’re packed with fiber which slows the release of glucose into your blood stream and ensures that your body has a constant, stable source of energy. Flax seeds also contain plenty of omega 3 essential fatty acids which support your body’s energy production processes.
- Green Tea: Green tea is another zero calorie, zero sugar energy drink. The caffeine in green tea provides you with an instant energy lift while the flavonoids it contains support energy production and help to maintain your energy levels in the long term.
- Quinoa: Quinoa is a favorite among vegetarians and there are plenty of reasons why. Not only does it contain large amounts of protein but it’s also rich in fiber and iron. As already mentioned, fiber helps to keep your energy levels stable while iron keeps your blood cells healthy and ensures that they can transport energy providing oxygen to the cells that need it.
- Walnuts: Walnuts contain a unique blend of energy boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients collectively work together to provide your body with direct energy and also help it to produce energy more efficiently.
Reason 3 – You’ll Be Healthier
How Sugar Affects Your Health
Sugar is extremely harmful to your health and can damage many areas of your body. It rots your teeth, destroys your blood vessels and can overload your liver. It’s also one of the leading causes of weight gain and obesity which further harm your body. In addition to this, sugar has been associated with various chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and liver disease. By cutting sugar out of your diet, you can avoid all these health problems and significantly enhance your health.
What To Eat Instead
Eliminating sugar from your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. However, to maximize your health, you should also ensure that your diet is rich in superfoods. The list below outlines five of the best superfoods for optimal health:
- Avocado: Avocado is a top food source of monounsaturated fat and also containsglutathione. The monounsaturated fats help to regulate the levels of cholesterol in your body, reduce inflammation and protect against cancer while the glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals from harming your body’s cells.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is versatile green and is an excellent source of B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin C. By eating broccoli regularly you can enjoy a range of health benefits which include cancer protection, improved digestion and healthy eyes.
- Eggs: Eggs are rich in healthy fats, protein and many different nutrients. The protein in eggs helps to build, maintain and repair all your body’s cells while the other nutrients boost your brain, regulate your blood cholesterol levels, strengthen your eyes and much more.
- Garlic: Garlic is a great cooking ingredient when used in moderation. It’s also packed full of powerful nutrients which fight cancer and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Spinach: Spinach contains high levels of over 10 different vitamins and minerals which enhance your health in various ways. Some of the main health benefits of spinach include a lower cancer risk, a healthier heart and stronger bones.
Reason 4 – You’ll Lose Weight
How Sugar Affects Your Weight
Sugar is one of the leading causes of weight gain. While it contains the same amount of calories per gram as other healthier foods, there are a number of reasons that eating sugar makes you more likely to put on weight.
First, sugar is a highly addictive substance and stimulates the areas of your brain that cause cravings. This makes you much more likely to overindulge when eating sugar and consume excess calories which then cause weight gain.
Second, processed sugary foods often contain very little if any other nutrients. As a result, eating sugary foods rarely satisfies your appetite but still adds calories to your waistline.
Finally, sugar is often added to drinks and consumed in liquid calories. This makes it very easy to drink hundreds or thousands of sugar calories in a day without even realizing.
What To Eat Instead
Cutting down on sugar is a fantastic way to start losing weight and you should start to see improvements in your waistline within just a few days. However, if you want to accelerate your weight loss efforts further, try adding the following five foods and drinks to your diet as well:
- Brown Rice: Brown rice is a tasty, versatile and filling food that can be used in many different meals. It’s one of the best food sources of complex carbohydrates which get slowly released into your bloodstream after you eat them and stop you getting hungry between meals.
- Chia Seeds:Chia seeds are rich in healthy fats and various nutrients. These nutrients in chia seeds regulate your appetite and make it easier for you to eat in moderation.
- Chili Peppers:Chili peppers are a great way to give your food a hot, satisfying flavor. They also stimulate your body’s fat burning processes and by eating them regularly, you can speed up the rate at which your body burns fat.
- Soy Beans: Soy beans are packed with fiber and protein. These two ingredients have a satiating effect and help you to feel fuller for longer which makes you less likely to overeat and gain weight.
- Water: Water contains zero calories and this makes it perfect for weight loss. By drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated you also maximize your body’s fat burning processes and lose more weight.
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